“Price is important, but it is not everything,” said Jeff Turnas, who will take on the position as president of 365 by Whole Foods Market after serving 20 years at the parent chain.
He explained in an announcement June 11 that the previously announced new chain will not sacrifice for price the quality or the “great experience” that shoppers at Whole Foods expect.
“Whole Foods has provided a great experience for many, many years and I think we will do that, but we are going to do that in a way that will appeal to more people and allow us to bring fresh, healthy food to communities that we have not been able to as Whole Foods,” he said.
The new chain, which promises lower prices, is Whole Foods most recent attempt to address its unwanted moniker “whole paycheck,” which it earned for its comparatively higher prices. The company also is testing reducing produce prices in some Whole Foods stores and has launched an advertising campaign touting its “values” as an indirect explanation for its higher prices. These strategies, however, have been met with mixed success.
Turnas also reiterated that the new stores will be “hip,” “cool,” and “a lot of fun” to shop, but he also appeared to soften previous claims that the store would be focused on technology and target millennials, which triggered initial negative reactions from consumers.
He simply said the stores would “appeal to more people,” and that they would have “the right amount of technology to make it so that it is utilitarian and useful and not [have] technology for technology sake.”
He also stressed that consumers would be able to complete a whole shopping trip at the new chain -- dispelling rumors that the new chain would be more akin to a corner store.
The new stores are slated to start opening in 2016, Whole Foods said.